When I look at a resume during a free critique, I often pull up the person’s LinkedIn profile to learn even more about them. Astonishingly often, the subject’s resume and the LinkedIn profile don’t match. Some mismatches are small, a date with the numbers transposed, or a job title that differs just slightly. Others are distressingly different: No dates match, job titles are completely different, some have whole jobs missing. It gives a very poor impression to any recruiter or hiring influencer.
So many human errors creep in when people fail to update LinkedIn when they update their resume. It’s important to keep them both as current as possible, as they are the two key marketing tools just about every recruiter will use to review your history and you don’t want to display carelessness or suggest that you have lied on your resume or on your digital profile.
In many cases, the errors are due to a simple lack of attention to career management. No one else is going to market you as enthusiastically as you can market yourself. So put all the latest, greatest information about you out where recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring influencers can find it! Make sure all your information matches.
What if you have a real gap in your work life? If you’re out of work you need to cover those months/years on your resume and LinkedIn history and you need to be open and honest about those gaps. Give an explanation of why those months or that year was a professional blank, and add what you learned (did you volunteer while travelling?) or what value you added to your skill set (did you take a course?) during your downtime. I recently had a client who couldn’t work as he moved out of the country due to a spouse’s work-related relocation. He spent his time learning a new culture.
You’re welcome to take advantage of my offer of a free resume critique, but before you do, please take the time to look over and compare the content of your resume with your LinkedIn profile and make sure they match. Refresh or rewrite both of them so that you present a current, consistent message about what you have accomplished and your value as an employee. That small investment of time will benefit you during every job search from now on!